Stop asking what you want to do with your life. Start asking, ‘what problem will I work on next?’
I always say, always ask yourself what you want to do with your life, but don’t expect to find a single answer.
Asking ‘what do I want to do with my life’…
Is a dangerous question, because it stands to over-feed the ego. This question makes you reflect on your image, your ideal self. It is the attempt to construct an impressive narrative for your life to come.
This question, this terrible question, is another way of asking, what’s the most my life can be? There is no peace to be found when asking this question. The real question is, what’s the least my life can be?
I’ll tell you what I want to do with my life — laugh, spend time with friends, do cool things, open Doors for others, write, laugh some more, and travel. Also, I strive to be honest and fair, to love generously, to love myself, and flourish with a sense of community and interconnectedness with other people and other living things.
The Roman and stoic philosopher Seneca said, ‘what is doomed to perish brings pleasure to no one’. No matter the size and magnitude of your achievements, they will not be remembered for long.
So instead of asking over and over ‘what do I want to do with my life’, work out your minimum viable lifestyle, do interest mapping, and then afterward, attend to the problem or challenge in the world that most grabs you. Work on it however you can.
But this is not a marriage, a lifelong commitment. It is just for now. You will open new Doors then finding a new chapter of your journey, one that you cannot see just yet. Be patient. It will reveal itself to you, after your next step.
Don’t figure out an eighty year plan. Just figure out what to do next.